Position: Point Guard
Weight: 165 pounds
NBA Comparison: Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
For those who are unfamiliar, Jason Brickman of the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds is the best facilitator in the country. He may not be playing for a high-profile program and his NBA dreams could be achieved the hard way, but Brickman is an aggressive player who executes with heart and creativity.
In terms of his style of play—I can’t emphasize that enough—the best comparison would be Steve Nash.
Much like Nash, Brickman is a lights-out 3-point shooter who plays with a pass-first mentality. During the 2012-13 college basketball season, he averaged 9.5 points, an NCAA Division I-best 8.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 steal on 46.2 percent shooting from 3-point range. It was the third straight season that he sank at least 45 3-balls.
Defense isn’t one of his strengths, and he’s not always willing to find his own shot, but Brickman can set up a scorer from anywhere on the court.
Brickman doesn’t have the same size as Nash and isn’t as prolific a prospect, but their approach to the game is nearly identical. Brickman knows how to get to the basket, and that opens up the pick-and-roll. His ability to spot-up on three-point field goals makes him all the more dangerous.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always guarantee NBA success.
Draft Stock: Undrafted
When a player spends their career at a school with as low of a profile as LIU-Brooklyn, there won’t be a lot of draft talk. That was the case with Scott Machado when he attended Iona and it will continue to be a trend with Brickman at LIU-Brooklyn.
Just don’t think that means that he’s without an NBA future.
Brickman can control the pace of a game as a distributor and shoot the three-ball with lights-out efficiency. Those two traits are welcome on any second unit, and that’s why a successful 2013-14 campaign could open the door for him to earn a spot on a Summer League roster.
From there, anything is possible.
If LIU-Brooklyn is able to reach the NCAA tournament or win a high number of games, Brickman could work his way into the second round conversation. His skill level is on par with the best collegiate athletes in the country, and leading the nation in assists for a second consecutive season would be tough to ignore.
Until then, block out his NBA upside and keep an eye on the extraordinary nature of this young man’s game. He’s great for college basketball.
Maxwell Ogden is a regular contributor to HoopsHabit.com. Make sure you follow him on Twitter.